The Los Angeles Dodgers have played just over two months of the 2014 regular season schedule and while they’re ahead of last year’s pace, they aren’t in the position many believed they would be in come June.
With a 30-28 record, the Dodgers are second in the NL West, 7.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants, who have beat the Dodgers in seven of their 10 games thus far. Manager Don Mattingly has not only been tasked with the job of motivating his team, but also juggling the crowded outfield.
Following another loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Mattingly discussed the mood surrounding the team, via Bill Shaikin of the LA Times:
You don’t want to panic. You want your team to play with a sense of urgency.”
While the Dodgers are just 5-5 in their last 10 games, Mattingly doesn’t believe now is the time to panic:
I’m not in a panic,” he said. “I would be in a panic if I didn’t feel we had any sense of urgency.”
As for Adrian Gonzalez, he said he doesn’t lack a sense of urgency but wouldn’t touch on of his teammates share the same sentiment:
No comment,” he said. “I can’t speak for other people.”
The Dodgers have yet to put together any prolonged winning streaks this season, winning no more than three games at a time. Mattingly shared his belief that some of the team’s struggles were related to Hanley Ramirez still in search of his groove at the plate.
Ramirez responded by going 4-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs in the Dodgers 12-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates May 31. The Dodgers reverted back to form the following night however and suffered a 5-3 loss, which was their third loss to the Pirates in the four-game series.
While Gonzalez may be playing with a sense of urgency, if the remaining Dodgers aren’t with him, they’ll be hard pressed to catch the Giants, who appear to be a more formidable division leader than the Arizona Diamondbacks were last season.
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